Slugger White came out of the tour rules trailer today, didn’t see his shadow, and ran back inside and said, “F**k it’s cold out there!”
It’s never a good sign when you see a senior PGA Tour rules official taking the press tent podium only 24 hours prior to a tournament beginning…. that means something is up. Or in this case – something is waaaay down, like the mercury in the thermostat outside. Typically this time of year in the Scottsdale area is a comfortable 70 or so degrees. But given the massive winter blast that has moved across 2/3 of the country the past two days, the golfing snowbirds in the Phoenix area are most likely as perplexed at the notion of not being able to play golf today as those that were scheduled to play in Wednesday’s pro-am at the Phoenix Open. And I say “scheduled” because the event was canceled due to the extreme cold weather…. Like below freezing, with gusting winds that made real-feels feel like low-20′s.
Slugger had the unfortunate duty to inform the pro-am participants that there would be no golf for the day. “We looked at it early this morning, tried to wait as long as we could to try and get 18 holes in. We knew if it got to 11:00 that it was going to be nine holes, and it just didn’t get any better. Jeff Plotts and his crew have been out there. The greens are still frozen. The approaches are frozen. And it just would do a tremendous amount of damage if we walked on it, just tracking everything up with the greens being frozen.”
The Scottsdale area forecast doesn’t look overly promising as far as thawing anytime soon. In fact – the warmest part of the day for Thursday is expected to be near the early evening hours, and even then the temps will barely eke into the 50′s. At approximately 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, normally the time frame when half of the field is officially on the course, the temperature outside is expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of mid-30′s. Throw in the probability that the course will still be partially frozen – it’s not looking very good for any golf being played tomorrow either. The weather is expected to improve for Friday, but once again the early-morning temps will struggle to break the freezing mark, just short of an all-out certainty that play will be postponed until mid-morning at the earliest on Friday.
While everything is obviously speculation as of Wednesday evening, the bottom line is that there’s a good chance that a majority of this tournament (if finished by Sunday) will be the result of additional holes played on both days of the weekend.
Just let me clarify something in closing…. I haven’t seen the ground here in Northeast PA since January 7th. My last round of golf was on Wednesday, Jan 5th and it was 22* outside, with 5-10 mph winds. My point is this: I don’t want to hear any whining about how cold it is in Scottsdale. Throw on the thermals, a beanie, and experience a side of the game that you’re not familiar with, boys. You’ll get no sympathy from this pay-to-play winter golfer who won’t see his next round until April….